I believe the word “suicide” scares people.

Brittany - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Entered on February 9, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death
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I believe that people get scared when they hear the word “suicide”. I believe people are scared because of the stigma that suicide holds. I believe that everyone should be aware of the prevalence of suicide and what they can do to help.

Not long ago, I was scared of the word “suicide”. I didn’t know why, but I was. I had no idea that each year there are more suicides in America than homicides. I believed the myth that talking about suicide can make someone suicidal. Why was I so naïve about this topic?

Because no one talks about it…

The reason that people are not educated about suicide is because people are scared. Suicide is a scary thing to talk about. I recently started working with one of the strongest populations of people I have ever met, survivors of suicide. A survivor is an individual who has lost someone whom they deeply care about to suicide. These people go through an unthinkable amount of pain, grief, and ridicule from others while remaining courageous. I believe they are heroes.

The word “suicide” is not scary to me anymore. I want to talk about it, and I want to educate people on the topic because I believe people should be educated about it. I believe that being aware of the warning signs is the key to prevention. From the short time that I have spent with survivors, I know I want to be an expert in the field and educate the public about suicide and what can be done to prevent it.

As I once did, most people believe that talking about suicide can put the idea into someone’s head. On the contrary, being direct in talking to someone who may be suicidal is the best way to approach the situation. I believe that tuning in to friends and families emotions is the first step. Expressing feelings of hopelessness or helplessness may be a sign. Talking about death, withdrawing from friends and family, and recent mood changes can also be warning signs. I believe that if even a handful of people per day are able to talk about suicide and not be afraid of it, the loss of lives may be prevented and suicide may not end up a reality.